- Become a Member
- Library Cards & Borrowing
- Friends of the Library
- Local Attraction Passes
- COVID 19 Update
- History of the Putnam Public Library
- Notary Services
Not yet a member? Just pop into the Library with a photo ID and proof of a Putnam residential address, or signup using our online membership form.
We have 38,000+ items in our collection. Our collection contains digital and traditional items including new and popular titles across an extensive range of books, DVDs, audiobooks and magazines for the whole family.
Our regular events and programs are designated to educate and entertain all ages. Please see our events calendar.
We are dedicated to providing our patrons with free access to ideas and information in a variety of formats; to promote lifelong learning; to nurture a love of literature; and to spark the imagination and creativity of all.
A library card is free to anyone who is a resident of Putnam. The BorrowIT program allows a resident of any town in the state who holds a valid borrower card issued by his home library to use that card to borrow materials from any public library in the state. To register for a card in Putnam a picture identification is needed showing name and current mailing address. If you have recently moved to town any piece of correspondence showing Putnam residency is acceptable. A parent or guardian with proper identification must sign applications for library cards for children under 14. Children can get their first library card when they turn four years of age.
Conditions of Borrowing
The borrower is responsible for items borrowed on his/her card including replacement costs for lost and damaged items. There is a limit of 8 DVDs on a card at one time.
Lending of Material
The Putnam Public Library loans books, magazines, books on CD and DVDs to any person with a valid Connecticut library card. DVDs may be taken out by a child under 16 if their parent/guardian is present. The lending period for books and books on CD is 3 weeks. The lending period for magazines and new books is 2 weeks. The lending period for DVDs is 1 week. There are no overdue fines for any library materials, but prompt return of the materials is encouraged so that other community members can also enjoy them. Materials will automatically renew unless there is a request for the item or it has been renewed the maximum times. Patrons will be notified of the renewal by email or text.
Friends Pop-Up Shop
You can pick out books from the Friend's Book Nook as you enter the library. Please pay at the circulation desk. Come in and find some great books to purchase! We are accepting small quantities of donations (maximum 12) in very good condition.
- Hardcover $1, paperback .50, DVD $1, Books on CD $1, Children's books .10 each, Puzzles $1
The Friends are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All donations to the Friends are tax-exempt. The Friends of the Putnam Public Library meet the first Wednesday of every month at 6:30 pm.
Please consider joining the Friends of the Putnam Public Library and show your support for library programs and all the wonderful services our library offers to residents of the Putnam area.
Good Reasons to Join the Friends!
- Support children’s, teen and adult reading programs and services.
- Meet others who love books and the Library as much as you do.
- Help the library provide the annual movie license and sturdy bags for patrons.
- Be a part of the library’s vision for the future.
- Know that your contribution will touch the lives of people in our community.
Click here to download a membership flyer today!
Exit 47 from Route 395:
Take a left onto Route 44 off of the exit and follow Route 44 West until you see the Putnam Municipal Complex on your right. Turn right into the Complex parking lot.
From Route 44 from the West:
Follow Route 44 down the hill by Day Kimball Hospital and follow Route 44 East until you see the Municipal Complex on your left. Turn left into the Complex parking lot.
Connecticut Science Center - 250 Columbus Blvd, Hartford, CT
20% off regular admission for up to 4 people
Timed tickets must be purchased online.
Connecticut’s Old State House - 800 Main Street, Hartford, CT
Free admission for up to 2 adults and 2 children.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 12-5 pm.
Ecotarium - 222 Harrington Way, Worcester, MA
50% off general admission for up to 2 adults and 2 children in one vehicle
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10 am - 5 pm.
Florence Griswold Museum - Old Lyme, CT
$1 discount on website. SNAP beneficiaries are able to visit for free. No pass.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10 am - 5 pm.
Gertrude Chandler Warner Boxcar Children Museum -1 South Main Street, Putnam, CT
Admission is free, but donations are accepted and appreciated.
Hours: April-October Saturdays and Sundays, 11 am to 4 pm.
Mashantucket Pequot Museum - 110 Pequot Trail, Mashantucket, CT
50% discount off admission costs for 2 adults/2 children or 1 adult/3 children
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 9 am- 5 pm.
Mystic Aquarium - 55 Coogan Avenue, Mystic, CT
Advanced purchase of online timed tickets required- library pass program is not active at this time.
Free entry for EBT cardholders with Snap card, ID and admission tickets.
AAA and AARP members qualify for discounts.
Hours: 9 am - 5 pm every day.
Old Sturbridge Village - 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA
50% off admission for 4 people
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 9:30 am - 5 pm.
Roger Williams Park Zoo - 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, RI
Call the library for a discount code for $3 off admission for up to 4 people in any combination of adults, seniors or children. $5 processing fee for required timed ticket reservations.
Hours: 9 am - 4 pm every day.
Samuel Slater Experience - 31 Ray Street, Webster, MA
Free admission with pass for up to 4 people.
Hours: Friday and Saturday, 10 am- 4 pm, Sunday 12-4 pm
Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art - 600 Main Street, Hartford, CT
Free admission for up to 2 adults and two children, free for ages 17 and younger
Hours: Thursday-Sunday 12-5 pm.
State Parks and Forests Day Pass
Free admission for 2 adults and 4 children at State historical sites at Dinosaur, Fort Trumball and Gillette State Parks. All other state parks are free to CT residents.
Updated May 30, 2023
The Putnam Public Library had its beginning in March of 1884, when Mr. R. S. Hillman, a representative of the Empire Library of New York, suggested to some of the citizens a plan to start a library in Putnam. The plan was to secure 200 members, who would subscribe $1.50 each for a life membership thus obtaining a library of 200 volumes. The plan met with approval, and in a short time the necessary names were secured. The Citizen’s Library Association was formally opened on April 25 with 270 books, and 140 members. The first home of the Library was in the jewelry store of the Wright Brothers, one of whom acted as librarian, assisted by W. B. Ferguson. Later Ferguson was chosen librarian. At the meeting of the directors in March 1886 the librarian reported 500 volumes in the Library. Books were eagerly read and the supply did not equal the demand. Mr. Ferguson resigned as librarian, and Mr. J. R. Cogswell was appointed to fill the vacancy.
In the spring of 1888 the directors made arrangements with the ladies of the W. C. T. U. to have the library located in their room in the Union Block. Miss Alice Johnson was appointed librarian. In March of 1889 the question of placing the Citizen’s Library Association under the proposed State Charter was discussed. It was voted that the Citizen’s Library Association transfer all its property to the Putnam Library Association. At the town election in October of 1894 the vote to accept the library was successful and the Putnam Library Association became the Putnam Free Public Library. In September of 1898 the library was reopened after being recataloged in the Dewey-Cutter system with Miss Emma J. Kinney as librarian. The Library moved again in 1904 to the Court House Block. A reading room shared with the Putnam Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution added to the Library’s services.
For economic reasons the town voted in the fall of 1912 to change the location of the library from the Court House Block to the Municipal Building on Church Street. In a town meeting on October 7, 1912 after much discussion and by a close vote the motion was carried to appropriate $1,000, the entire sum to be used in the municipal building, rent free. After many faithful years of service Miss Kinney retired in 1932 and Miss Abbie F. Scott was appointed librarian. In 1945 the Library began to make a more extensive use of the Inter-library Loan Service, borrowing frequently from Hartford, Boston and Providence Public Library and in 1950 the Putnam Library began its own Inter-library loan service, known as the “Swap-group” and exchanged books with many libraries in the area. Miss Scott received her degree in library science at Simmons College in 1947 and became Putnam’s first trained librarian. In July of 1948 the Board approved the purchase of the Bosworth property for a new library. On August 12 the Town Meeting voted the purchase. It was not until December 15, 1953 that an appropriation was made to building. Mr Henry Schrab Kelly was engaged as architect and on September 1, 1954 the contract for the construction was signed with the Coleman Construction Company. It seemed to be a happy coincidence that the building was to be completed in 1955, the 100th Anniversary of the incorporation of the township of Putnam.
The building suffered severe damage in the Flood in August of 1955. Fortunately the library materials had not been moved to the new building yet and so the dedication was delayed until December 2, 1956. Abbie Scott was the librarian from 1932 to 1962 and was succeeded by Millicent Beausoleil, who retired in 1979. A new Children’s wing was dedicated on December 2, 1979 and coincided with the appointment of Mary Brumbaugh as Library Director. Priscilla Colwell took over as director in 2006 when Mary Brumbaugh retired after a long period of service to the library. The library moved into the Putnam Municipal Complex in September of 2021.
Emma J. Kinney, Modern History of Windham County Connecticut, Allen B. Lincoln, editor, 1920, p. 796.
History of the Putnam Free Library, 1931-June 1955, data compiled by Mrs. Maryott and Miss Keith.
History of the Putnam Free Public Library, Miss Ellen Wheelock, read at Woman’s Club, 1936.
The Library offers free notary services. Please call ahead to make sure that one of our notaries is available and bring two forms of identification, one being a photo id. Do not sign the document until you are in the presence of the notary. There are notaries at the Town Hall if the library's notary is not available. We are unable to notarize wills because we cannot assess the mental state of the signatory.
Computer and Internet Use
Public computers are available during library hours as well as wireless access for laptops. A library card is required for the public computers, but guest cards are available for out of state patrons. Although you do not need to be a Putnam patron to use our computers, your library card must be registered in our system. The registration process takes place at the circulation desk and takes about 5 minutes. Sessions are limited to one hour per person each day. Sessions may be extended by two hours by a staff member.
Printing is available at all public computers: .25 per page for color printouts, .10 per page for black. Printouts are paid for after printing at the circulation desk. Printing is not available at this time through the wireless connection.
Internet Use and Wireless Policy
The Putnam Public Library serves the needs of the community by providing free access to a diversity of ideas, information and experiences with the goal of promoting the love of reading, the joy of lifelong learning, and engagement with the arts, sciences, and humanities.
In order to be responsive to the above mission statement, the Putnam Public Library shall provide access to the Internet through computer workstations and wireless service. Since computers are located in public areas of the Library, what is displayed on the monitor or sent to a printer should not be considered confidential. Putnam Public Library is committed to providing an environment free from sexual or any other harassment. Patrons may not display any materials on computer screens and/or printers that would be inconsistent with such an environment.
Section 1: Guidelines for Use
A. Permitted Access and Use
All resources available on the Internet with the exception of those items listed in Prohibited Access and Use noted below.
Parents or guardians, not the library or its staff, are responsible for the Internet information selected or accessed by their children. Parents and guardians are advised to supervise their children’s computer use.
Patrons must use their own library card or guest card. Use of another person’s library card for Internet access is not allowed.
B. Prohibited Access and Use
It is not acceptable to use the internet for any purposes which violate U.S. or State Laws, to transmit threatening or harassing materials, or engage in any of the following:
- Viewing sexually explicit and/or obscene and/or potentially offensive images, graphics, and/or material.
- Accessing, viewing or disseminating child pornography.
- Harassing, libeling, or slandering of others.
- Destruction of or damage to the equipment, software, or data belonging to the library or other users. Downloading or installing software onto library computers is forbidden.
- Any illegal activity.
U.S. copyright law prohibits the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials. All responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user. The library disclaims any liability of responsibility resulting from such use. Downloading or distributing unauthorized copies of copyrighted motion pictures or music constitutes copyright infringement under U.S. Copyright Act, Title 17, U.S. Code Section 106(3).
C. Implementation and Practices
Access will be limited to one hour per day. Two additional hours may be given at the discretion of library staff.
Computer use information, as well as library cardholder information is confidential. All files and search history are deleted from library computers at the end of each day. Users are expected to have basic Internet knowledge, as staff cannot offer lengthy personal instruction. Instruction is available through the Library’s Tech Time program. Users are expected to be courteous and quiet to avoid disturbing people using other library resources. Although the staff of the Putnam Public Library will enforce its Internet Policy, it does not assume a separate responsibility for monitoring or controlling access to the Internet or the content of material available or accessed through the Internet. The library uses filtering software and can allow websites to be accessed for research during a computer session. Library users 18 and over may request that a staff member disable the filtering software for bona fide research, or other lawful purposes without significant delay.
As with most wireless hotspots, transmitting personal information, such as credit card numbers and passwords, is not recommended. Internet users who release public information do so at their own risk. Anything accessed or entered on the library’s public access Internet computers is not secure and may be accessible to others. The library is not responsible for any information that is compromised, or for any damage caused to your hardware or software due to electrical surges, security issues, or consequences caused by viruses or hacking. There is no firewall for this service. Your laptop must have appropriate virus protection.
Audio files should be listened to only through headphones, which are available for purchase ($.50) at the circulation desk.
Printing is not available through the wireless connection at this time.
Section 2: Enforcement
Use of the library’s public access internet workstations in violation of the policies and practices set forth herein, or for an illegal purpose, or in a manner that is detrimental to the functioning of the library and its other services may be enforced by denial of use, suspension of library privileges, or referral to an appropriate law enforcement agency.
Section 3: Modification of Policy
The Putnam Public Library reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.
Adopted by the Putnam Public Library Board of Trustees on February 28, 2022.